Member of the German Bundestag

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Member of the German Parliament ( Bundestag , Member of Parliament ) is the official name given to a deputy in the German Bundestag . The abbreviation MdB is used as a so-called suffix with or without a comma after the surname. There have been 709 MPs since the 2017 federal election . The difference to the nominal size of 598 MPs results from overhang seats and compensatory seats .

general description

Members of the Bundestag are elected through federal elections directly ( direct mandate ) or according to the state lists of their respective party . With the first vote of the deputies of each is the constituency and the second vote the party list chosen.

In the history of the Federal Republic of Germany there have been exceptions to this rule that members of the Bundestag are determined by federal elections:

Membership in the German Bundestag is acquired by an elected candidate for the Bundestag election in accordance with Section 45 of the Federal Election Act "[...] after the final determination of the result for the electoral area by the Federal Electoral Committee [...] with the opening of the first session of the German Bundestag after the election."

According to Article 38 of the Basic Law, members of the Bundestag represent the entire German people in the German Bundestag and are not bound by instructions and orders when making decisions, but only subject to their own conscience . However, the free mandate in parliamentary practice is restricted by the so-called faction discipline.

The MPs in turn elect the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and can replace him with a constructive vote of no confidence before the end of the Bundestag electoral term . They are also involved in the election of the Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany by the Federal Assembly . They also have a decisive share in federal legislation .

The mandate obtained through the federal election is valid for an electoral period of four years. This period applies regardless of party or parliamentary group affiliation; a member of parliament retains his mandate even if he no longer belongs to a parliamentary group. The influence of the voters also ends after the election; they cannot vote the MPs out again with a vote of no confidence . The will of the MP himself to resign, on the other hand, is one of the reasons that lead to a loss of office. Every citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany who is entitled to vote can also stand as a candidate for election to the Bundestag. The exercise of the office of deputy is subject to special protection under labor law, which prohibits employers from dismissing employees on the occasion of taking over or exercising the office of deputies, also in general no one may be prevented from exercising this office ( Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Deputies Act (AbgG)) .

The members of the German Bundestag can form factions or groups and thus enjoy a special procedural and organizational status. The President of the Bundestag presides over the Bundestag.

If a member of parliament leaves the Bundestag due to death or resignation, his mandate will be replaced by the next candidate on his party's state list, if it is not an unbalanced overhang mandate (see successor judgment ). In this case there is no mandate and the Bundestag has one less mandate overall. If the country list is exhausted , the mandate is also canceled. This was the case for the first time in 2015 when, after Katherina Reiche left, the only remaining applicant on the Brandenburg CDU state list did not accept the mandate.

Digital Agenda Committee

Social background

With the 2017 federal election , 709 members were elected to the 19th German Bundestag , including 219 women (30.9%) and 490 men (69.1%).

Profession number %
Teachers, research, university members 76 10.7%
Other public service 129 18.2%
Employees of members of parliament, parties, parliamentary groups 79 11.1%
Other political and social organizations 23 3.2%
Churches 8th 1.1%
Economy (self-employed, employees, including associations) 234 33.0%
Legal, economic and tax advisory professions 99 14.0%
Other liberal professions 22nd 3.1%
Others 21st 3.0%
Not specified 18th 2.5%

Note: Complete list on the Bundestag website.

Rights and obligations


  • Law Enforcement Immunity . This can be repealed by the Bundestag (Art. 46 Basic Law).
  • Indemnity for statements made by a member of the Bundestag (Article 46 of the Basic Law).
  • Right to refuse to testify The MPs have the right to refuse to testify to investigating authorities or courts, about persons who have entrusted them with facts in their capacity as MPs or to whom they have entrusted them in this capacity, as well as about these facts themselves. As far as this right to refuse to testify extends, the seizure of documents is inadmissible.


  • Members of the Bundestag should be present during a session of parliament in the Bundestag building . However, they are not obliged to do so, as they are not bound by any instructions. You would also not have to sit in the plenary hall , but can also stay and work in the office, for example, since the meeting is broadcast on internal television. In the event of unexcused absence on meeting days, the flat-rate fee will be reduced ( Section 14 of the German Parliament Act ).
  • For the obligation not to be bribed, see article Bribery of Members .

Diets and allowances

  • Compensation for members of parliament (diet): € 10,083.47 / month ( Section 11 (1) of the German Parliament's Act - AbgG , as of July 1, 2019);
  • Tax-free flat rate: € 4,418.09 / month (as of January 1, 2019). Costs for the exercise of the mandate are covered by the flat fee. Higher expenses are neither refundable nor tax-deductible. Tax exemption is constitutional.
  • Illness costs: Optional contribution subsidy of 50 percent of the maximum amount based on the contribution assessment ceiling of the statutory health insurance , the "employer's contribution" of approx. 250 € / month or partial reimbursement of expenses according to the principles of civil service law ( Section 27 AbgG ).
  • Provision of a Bahncard 100 for Deutsche Bahn AG, which can also be used for private trips since 2012, as well as the reimbursement of other mandate-related travel expenses in Germany ( Section 16 AbgG ). The use of the German Bundestag transport service is free of charge within Berlin .
  • Assumption of up to € 22,201 / month for the salaries of the MP's employees ( Section 12 (3) AbgG ). The Bundestag administration pays the salaries directly to the employees. If the MP's employees are related to him or by marriage, he must bear the costs himself.
  • Each year of membership in the Bundestag, a member of the Bundestag is entitled to a pension (retirement allowance) of 2.5 percent of the member’s allowance up to a maximum of 65 percent ( Section 20 AbgG ), which may be reached after 26 years. The old-age allowance is only granted after reaching the regular retirement age , which increases gradually from 65 to 67 years of age ( Section 19 AbgG ). Up until December 31, 2007, from eight years of membership in the Bundestag, the age limit increased by one year for each additional year of membership up to max. the 18th year ( § 19 AbgG old version), so that the age limit could be reached up to ten years early. As a rule, members of the Bundestag are between eight and twelve years old, which means that a claim of 20.0 to 30.0 percent is achieved.

Lobbying and sideline activities

The member of the Bundestag has to observe certain rules of conduct. One of these rules of conduct states in which cases members of the Bundestag have to report their income from secondary employment to the Bundestag President ( Section 44b No. 2 AbgG). Income below € 1,000 does not have to be published. Income beyond that was only assigned to the three levels “€ 1,000 to € 3,500”, “€ 3,500 to € 7,000” and “€ 7,000 to over” in the 17th Bundestag (2009–2013). From the 18th electoral term, which began on October 22, 2013, additional income is to be stated in ten levels from over € 1,000 to over € 250,000 per year or in the annual share attributable to the legislative period.

In order to prevent the introduction of the disclosure of income from sideline activities by members of the Bundestag in 2006, the Federal Constitutional Court had brought disputes about organs from nine members of the Bundestag. Of these, three each belonged to the FDP ( Heinrich Leonhard Kolb , Sibylle Laurischk and Hans-Joachim Otto ) and the CDU ( Friedrich Merz , Siegfried Kauder and Marco Wanderwitz ), two to the CSU ( Max Straubinger and Wolfgang Götzer ) and one to the SPD ( Peter Danckert ) on.

With its decision of July 4, 2007, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected the applications in the event of a tie. In the opinion of half of the judges of the Second Senate, secondary activities such as supervisory boards “pose particular threats to the independence” of the MPs, as the assumption is “not far removed” that income from secondary activities “can have repercussions on the exercise of mandate” . The people have a "right to" know from whom and to what extent their representatives receive money. In contrast, the MPs' interest in the confidentiality of the data is "secondary" . Critics call for an even more precise breakdown of parliamentary income.


A number of offices are incompatible with membership in the German Bundestag:

The eligibility of civil servants, civil servants, professional / temporary soldiers and judges can be restricted ( Art. 137 GG).

Longest and shortest membership in the Bundestag

Wolfgang Schäuble is the member of the Bundestag with the longest membership in parliament: he has been a member of the German Bundestag without interruption since the constituent session of the 7th legislative period on December 13, 1972. In 2014, Schäuble replaced Richard Stücklen as a member of parliament with the longest membership in the Bundestag.

Joachim Gauck, on the other hand, was only a member of the Bundestag from October 3 to 4, 1990 and resigned his mandate, since on October 4 he was appointed special representative of the federal government for the personal documents of the former State Security Service (" Gauck Authority ").

See also


  • Peter Badura: The position of the MP according to the Basic Law and the MPs laws in the federal and state levels . In: Hans-Peter Schneider and Wolfgang Zeh (eds.): Parliamentary Law and Parliamentary Practice in the Federal Republic of Germany . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 1989. ISBN 3-11-011077-6 . Pp. 489-521. PDF; 7.5 MB .

Web links

Commons : Member of the German Bundestag  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Member of the Bundestag  - explanations of meanings, word origin, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Advice for addresses and salutations, p. 20. Federal Ministry of the Interior, September 20, 2016, accessed on July 28, 2020 .
  2. For further reasons see § 46 Federal Election Act: Loss of membership in the German Bundestag
  3. Members in numbers. Women and men. German Bundestag, October 2017, accessed on February 10, 2018 .
  4. Professions. German Bundestag, October 2017, accessed on February 18, 2018 .
  5. ^ German Bundestag, expense allowance for the members of the German Bundestag
  6. Announcement of the adjustment of the parliamentary allowance ..., printed matter 19/10014
  7. Decision of the 1st Chamber of the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court of July 26, 2010 - 2 BvR 2227/08 and 2228/08 -
  8. Travel expenses ( Memento of October 3, 2006 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Activities and income in addition to the mandate
  10. Notes on the publication of the information in accordance with the rules of conduct in the official manual and on the website of the German Bundestag ( Memento of August 9, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  11. ↑ Additional income of members of the Bundestag (Federal Constitutional Court)
  12. List of plaintiffs as a photo series on Spiegel Online ( memento of October 24, 2006 in the Internet Archive ).
  13. Members of parliament have to disclose additional income to press release no. 73/2006 of July 4, 2007 of the BVerfG
  14. Information about income angered politicians (Der Spiegel, July 5, 2007)
  15. Incompatibilities with the Bundestag mandate (2005) ( Memento from October 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive )